Sat, Feb 04, 2006 - Page 3 News List

President vows to keep on in `the right direction'

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), under fire from Washington for his recent Lunar New Year remarks regarded by the US as a move to change the cross-strait status-quo, said yesterday that he will keep on doing the `right thing' without fear.

"This year, I am bound to do my duty to lead the Taiwanese people in doing the right thing as well as leading the country to move in the right direction," Chen said while giving an address at the Presidential Office's Lunar New Year reception.

Stance reaffirmed

While Chen didn't elaborate on the meaning of the "right thing" and the "right direction," the address suggested that he was reaffirming his stance on the abolition of the National Unification Council and the unification guidelines, joining the UN using the name "Taiwan," and holding a referendum on a new Constitution by next year.

"I believe that I won't have any fear of doing so as long as I have the conviction. As long as I am fearless, I will have power and I can make it in the end," he said.

Chen said that the realization that he was doing the "right thing" without fear came after reading the book The Faith of George W. Bush, during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Bush book

"I learned from the book that one of [US President George W.] Bush's ancestors was a minister who told his family to `do the right thing,'" Chen said.

Chen said that he welcomed comments from everyone on his realization and he encouraged everyone to encourage each other this year using the words of Bush's ancestor.

The US State Department said on Monday that Chen's plan to scrap the National Unification Council and guidelines was a move that would change the cross-strait status quo, adding that joining the UN using the name of "Taiwan" was a unilateral change.

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